When Russia invaded Ukraine my thoughts were of the men and women with whom I served from those two countries in United Nations missions in Kosovo, Haiti and Liberia. As with people from various nations, I became friends with several of them and maintained email contact over the years. In particular, my heart goes out to those in Ukraine as they are overrun by a superior force and Europe stands idly by while their neighbors suffer death and destruction. European leadership is, essentially, applying the same rationale for inaction that was carried out in the 1930s as German forces rolled over Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia and then Austria: let the invading force have the territory that they feel is rightfully theirs in order to avoid world war. In particular, in 2022, let's not forget who provides 40% of Europe's natural gas needs. Easy enough to justify turning their backs on Ukraine
Putin will not stop at Ukraine. It is apparent that he wants to reunite the former Soviet Union and he will continue to roll in that direction. As with Hitler, powerful armies from various countries could stop him cold in his tracks now, but that won't happen. I suspect that another world war is around the corner and I fully expect China to invade Taiwan within a year. Biden is weak, other world leaders can see it, and no time like the present to take what they want.
So it does beg the question: Has anything good ever come of communism? I had conversations with people I worked with from China and Russia, all of whom despised communism. Whether home or overseas, they were never free to speak their minds without fear of reprisal; could not travel without permission, particularly to democratic countries; had to attend weekly political meetings while serving overseas; and were encouraged to inform on others within their contingent who did not toe the party line.
As an American, I cannot imagine living in fear that my door would be kicked down in the middle of the night because of something I wrote or said, and that I and any family members, whether they lived with me or not, would suffer consequences as well, including beatings, imprisonment and mandatory "political reeducation." But that is communism, and socialism, too, in a nutshell. And yet we have politicians in Washington, D.C., who openly embrace these ideologies and tout their benefits and voters who support them. I suppose they can be great systems to live under if one is an elected official living at taxpayer expense in the nation's capital. The top dogs under those systems always live and eat well while preaching to others the necessity to suck it up and endure.
I refuse to embrace any political ideology that crushes the soul. Tens of millions murdered around the globe under communist and socialist leadership are testimony to the need for democracies that promote the basic freedoms we have in the West. When was the last time someone fled a free country for the opportunities available in Russian, China, North Korea or Cuba?